Separation Anxiety

It's been strange watching my former students walking the halls these past few days. My second year of teaching I felt a mix of regret and anxiety when I saw the previous year's students. Last year, at a new school, I avoided such interactions altogether. So, this is the first time where the students I'm seeing everyday on the way to lunch, during arrival and dismissal, don't inspire remorse. But oddly, it doesn't feel entirely better.

There's a mix of nostalgia and sadness when I see my former students this year. Last year was undoubtedly the best year of teaching I've had so far. There were ups and many downs for sure, but I know I improved as a teacher, and I bonded with all of my students in a way I hadn't before. Maybe it was just the fact that they were 3rd graders instead of 4th graders, untainted yet by the early signs of prepubescent attitudes, or maybe I just got lucky with the group I taught. Regardless, I know we really cared about each other. It's sounds strange, but I miss them.

I don't doubt that the same is possible with my new students. Kids it turns out, are pretty easy to please as long as you are a semi-competent teacher and read them a few good stories now and then. On the first day of school, after reading Miss Nelson is Missing I asked the students to share what kind of teacher they want this year (e.g. Miss Nelson or Miss Swamp). One boy replied, "I want you as my teacher," (cue sitcom audience "awwwww"). I miss my old kids, but I need to remind myself that a relationship, just like academic skills, will take time to develop in my new students. In the mean time I'll just have to settle for goofy grins and waves from last year's kids.


Popular Posts